Cone Mills selvedge ID (ticking) authentication question...

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by Bender, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. Bender

    Bender New in Town

    Messages:
    39
    Denim experts... Should all modern (say, 2000 to 2014) Cone Mills selvedge denim Levis jeans feature identical ID ticking? Or were there variations in the width according to what year the jean was produced, which cut, wash, what Levis collection it was released under (LVC, Made & Crafted) etc. etc...?

    Back around 2015, I was lucky enough to pick up a couple of pairs of Levis 511 jeans made from Cone Mills White Oak selvedge denim from a Levis factory store.

    They are great jeans, still going strong, but over the last few years I have supplemented a few more pairs... Various cuts and finishes, but I intentionally sought out the same material, ie. Cone Mills selvedge denim.

    Since the Cone Mills plant closed in 2014, and the ones I purchased in 2015 were some of the last Levis stock, I’ve had to rely exclusively on NOS pairs from eBay for the others.

    So today I had all my jeans out, and I noticed that the ID ticking varied greatly between pairs. The two 511s I bought from Levis are obviously authentic, and being identical, have identical ticking.

    But every other pair has different ticking widths... even among the same cuts. It’s important to note, with the exception of the two original 511s bought from the factory store, every other pair is a different wash and finish (and most likely production year) from one another... even between the same cuts. For instance, I have two pairs of 501 skinny’s in different washes, two pairs of 1954 501Z in different washes... Plus there is one standard 501 cut, as well as a third pair of 511s that I just recently bought, which have been factory decorated with various repaired fray holes. None of the jeans share the same exact same ticking widths, except for the original 511s from the factory store.

    In any event, just want to know if this is kosher, or if I have two nice pairs of Levis and like six fakes, ha ha.

    Sorry for the long question, but wanted to be thorough. I appreciate any help I can get from you Levis denim experts!
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2020
  2. CatsCan

    CatsCan One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Germany & Denmark
    I'm having a hard time to understand what you exactly mean with the term "ticking" and "ticking-widths". I am not a Levis expert though...

    Cats
     
  3. Bender

    Bender New in Town

    Messages:
    39
    Selvedge ID (a guy at a denim repair store called it “ticking”, no idea if this is correct) is the piece of white fabric with colored dashes that runs up the outer leg seams inside selvedge jeans.

    Apparently it was called selvedge ID because back in the olden days, you could identify which mill produced the denim by looking at this piece of fabric. Cone Mills in White Oak, North Carolina used red dashes (and I guess occasionally yellow for some special runs?). Amoskeag Mills in Manchester, New Hampshire used green dashes. Candiani Mill outside Milan, Italy, which has been around for nearly 100 years, and I believe is the last of the old mills still in operation, uses blue dashes.

    Most of the modern selvedge coming out of Japan in recent years, which is made on old looms bought from defunct US mills, uses red dashes, like the old Cone Mills stuff. So despite the name, I don’t think one can easily identify which Japanese mill selvedge denim is from based on the selvedge ID... as most of the Japanese mills use red dashes.

    Basically, it’s the fabric you see when someone rolls up the cuffs on a pair of selvedge jeans:

    4E56F515-61D0-4062-B62D-F323A9807C00.jpeg
     
  4. Bender

    Bender New in Town

    Messages:
    39
    Okay, I may be an idiot...

    So examining all the jeans again, I see that the width of the white-with-red-dashes fabric is identical (as is the spacing of the dashes)... It is how much denim fabric is folded over to make the seam which varies, and causes the differing widths of the selvedge ID when viewed as a whole (both sides of the seam).

    So I guess I’ll rephrase my question... Were all Levis that use Cone Mills selvedge denim constructed with an identical amount of fold-over in the seams?

    My guess is probably not, and that was something that almost certainly varied by batch... Which makes me a moron, ha ha.

    What say you, denim experts?
     
  5. CatsCan

    CatsCan One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Germany & Denmark
    Thanks for the explanation. I never looked at my selvedge denim in a scientific way like this before. Looking at my japanese ones, except one which is yellow, most have a red thread at the edge of the weave and the "white fabric" you mentioned, which in my understanding is the undyed weft running around this edge of the weave so nothing too special here. The inner seam is somewhat over engineered and fancier at my Samurai, Momotaro, Japan Blue ones. The rest of my denims are made in Turkey, I suppose in a factory which also makes the LVC jeans. Would be interesting from a historical point of view too look at the self edges of pre 1980s US made denims.

    I can't help with answers to your specific questions concerning your Levis USA denims, I am afraid. I noticed while searching through TFL that Denim Trousers are quite under represented in the number of threads. So I hope this sparks some discussion here. I just never heard of fake selvedge Levis so I at least don't think yours are fake.
     
  6. robrinay

    robrinay One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,364
    Location:
    Sheffield UK
    The following is speculation
    The width of the fold over will depend on the taper on the legs and will vary according to size style and minor errors in production.
    Many of the original looms were exported to Japan and the Japanese are fanatical regarding accuracy so I’d guess that modern Japanese selvedge denim will be identically similar to the original.
     
  7. Mich486

    Mich486 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,216
    LVC used different denim for different models and the selvedge ID varies. Some wider some narrower. Early models for instance don’t have any coloured line, the selvedge strip is all white.

    I think the folks over at superdenim can be more helpful though.
     
  8. VestCoast

    VestCoast One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    243
    Location:
    Austin TX
    Usage of the selvedge line was also affected by the size of the loom, as looms got wider there was more material so you'd see some jeans made with a half selvedge seam to reduce wastage. The width of the fold over is just the seam allowance so I would expect the variation in the allowance is up to the pattern cutters. The only way to have a selvedge seam is to have leg pieces straight and uncut at outseam, so tapers etc. were achieved by manipulating the inseam.
     
  9. Blackadder

    Blackadder Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,549
    Location:
    China
    There are easier way to tell if the Levi's is authentic like the various numbers on your tags.
    I know one thing for sure. The shrinkage of different batches of LVC (rigid) differ greatly. Shrinkage applies to the fold as well.
    I am pretty sure Cone Mills did all sorts of selvedge, red, white, blue etc. I think it is Levi's who insisted on red on all their jeans while Lee and Wrangler tend to use other colour like white, blue and yellow. Levi's also insists on right hand twill while Lee uses left handtwill.
    https://misterfreedom.com/collections/denim/products/california-lot-64-og-organic-cotton-denim
    https://www.weargustin.com/store/jeans-39-the-blue-line2
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2020

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